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close this bookThe Elaboration of School Textbooks - Methodological Guide (UNESCO, 1989, 66 p.)
close this folderSchool Textbook Committees
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View the documentFunctions of Textbook Committees
View the documentStatus of the Committees
View the documentMembers of the Committees
View the documentWorking procedures


Generally speaking, and over and above the policy adopted for textbooks, Ministries of Education are responsible for the study of needs, planning and provision of school books and the elaboration of manuscripts, insofar this is a question of promoting production at the national level, which was either limited to publishing a few books, or lacked the resources to meet the all the needs of the educational system.

Textbook Committees (sometimes called School Book Committees) can play an important role when a genuine national book promotion policy exists. The functions and responsibilities of these committees vary from country to country. In some cases, they simply make recommendations on the suitability of published school books. In others, they supervise the elaboration of textbooks, give the final seal of approval after evaluation and, in some instances, control all aspects of production and distribution.

A distinction should perhaps first be made between Textbook Committees and publishing services (whether the latter are state controlled or private). If publishing services, as their name would indicate, take care of publishing manuscripts and sometimes printing and distribution, the same is not true of the Committees whose attributed functions are those of study, consultation, survey, control supervision, and approval. The functions and responsibilities of these committees should, therefore, be neither too finite, nor too extensive if their work is to be an objective, impartial and efficient contribution to specific and significant aspects of the elaboration of textbooks.